The plan was to go to Pergamonmuseum. The prior plan was to go to Schloss Charlottenburg. The general plan is to be a little more Berlinerinisch, to go to some of the hundreds of museums, galleries, palaces, that fill this, one of the largest european cities, and to remind myself why I came here; to avert indifference or outright hostility towards a city that has been my home for much longer than most, and one in which I’ve seen far too little of those museums, galleries, palaces.
Having nearly run over the family of wild boars in Jungfernheide this morning (I’ve known there was at least a few in the forest because of the regular turnings-over of mud baths along the trails I bike), scaring the crap out of me – and by the speed in which they departed for all points of the compass, a couple of big black ones, some smaller grey ones and trailing, three or four recently-piglet, scaring the crap out of them also, and having gotten well-soaked and muddy, a trip back that way to Schloss Charlottenburg wasn’t so enticing.
Of to Museuminsel! Queues on a Sunday for next on my list Pergamonmuseum, were 10 metres long – and that just for the tickets; a similar queue to get in the door. Lucky for me around the corner Bode-museum was forlorn and queue-less. Actually I had no real idea what to expect, and so spent some hours being hounded by Jesus, his Cross, Mary, assorted donkeys, the Spear of Destiny (mostly because Jesus had it embedded in his ribs), myriad Popes, Cardinals, at least one St. Augustine, many many Archangel Michaels, mostly smiting sad Lucifers … St. Sebastian frequently – somewhat like an embarrassing old uncle – quite a few of the Venus, Apollo, Eros, Dionysus/Baccus mob, mostly getting it on or having at it, a few rooms filled with either Lucretia or one of the Sabines getting raped … several small rooms stuffed full of coinage … quite a tour through mediæval Europe, particularly of the gloomy Germanic, and Inquisitorial varieties.
I did become slightly hysterical under all the religion, particularly at the wood sculpture of what looked to me like a very drunk priest (evinced by the toppled chalice), on his knees and hallucinating at Jesus, who had popped up from behind the altar – bleeding of course – but all of about 1 foot high, like Mr Jesus The Christmas Poo. Another Jesus, still nailed had a massive, crude but enthusiastic head; the carver obviously lost interest below the groin, paying no attention at all to proportion, or feet, which were club-like stumps.
Nonetheless, I saw a lot that was beautiful, mostly the small works in metal or stone, including one of a bust of Democrates buried far away in a small back room, and a couple of sublime still-lifes, all more than enough to go back and more carefully view the collections. (Though I have scores of museums to get through yet.) Photos!